NBA fines by the numbers

The crunchologists at SeatCrunch have put together a thorough analysis of NBA fines, complete with infographics showing whom the league fines and for what reasons.

For most of us, having to pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines would be a life-altering event. But for an NBA player, coach, or team, there is nothing usual about sending a $20,000 money order to the league office in New York.

SeatCrunch looked at every fine leveied in the NBA from 2003 through 2013, looking at which infractions were most common and which players, coaches, and executives the league has penalized the most.

Here is a breakdown of all the fines from the last 10 years:



It’s probably not surprising that the most prevalent offense, both in terms of number of fines and total dollars paid to the league, is quibbling with officials.

The infractions that earn the largest average fines per incident are illegal team workouts ($140,000), collective bargaining agreement violations ($87,500), social media ($79,700), and fighting ($59,134).

The social media numbers are inflated by one particular incident involving Heat owner Micky Arison. When a fan with the Twitter handle @GreedyNBAstards complained about the 2011 lockout, tweeting, “guess what? Fans provide all the money you’re fighting overyou [sic] greedy ass pigs,” Arison replied, “Honestly u r barking at the wrong owner.” That seemingly benign tweet cost Arison $500,000.

SeatCrunch has several examples of other costly tweets (JR Smith’s $25,000 tweet of a semi-naked woman, Amare Stoudamire’s $50,000 tweet of a homophobic slur, and Stephen Jackson’s $25,000 threat to Serge Ibaka).

Vladimir Radmanović has paid more money in fines than any other player. Radmanović earned a $500,000 penalty in 2007 when he separated his shoulder snowboarding during the All-Star break then lied to the Lakers (his team at the time) about the cause of the injury. His contract prohibited activities, including snowboarding, that carried a significant risk of injury.

Rasheed Wallace has been fined most frequently, paying eight fines worth a total of $205,000.



Phil Jackson was the most fined coach since 2003. The Knicks and Nuggets were the most fined teams.

Going back to 2000, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been responsible for 10 percent of all fines levied by the NBA ($1,840,000). His 2002 comment, “Ed Rush might have been a great ref, but I wouldn’t hire him to manage a Dairy Queen,” alone cost him $500,000. has plenty more information, analysis, and infographics related to NBA fines.

About Josh Tinley

Josh Tinley writes the Away From The Action column at Midwest Sports Fans, covering all aspects of sport aside from what actually happens on the field, court, or track. Josh grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from the University of Evansville and Vanderbilt Divinity School. He is the author of Kneeling in the End Zone: Spiritual Lessons From the World of Sports and the managing editor of LinC, a weekly curriculum for teens that explores the intersection of faith and culture. Josh lives outside Nashville with his wife, Ashlee, and children, Meyer (7), Resha Kate (5), and Malachi (3). He will not allow himself to die before the Evansville Purple Aces make another trip to the NCAA Tournament. Follow him on Twitter @joshtinley or send him an e-mail.


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